Neighbor finds man dead from gunshot

Moncks Corner — A 21-year-old man was found shot to death at his Jenkins Street home Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The Moncks Corner Police Department is investigating the case, its first homicide in three years.

Michael Jamarl Starks had reported previous break-ins at the home in November and December, and thieves made off with PlayStation games and some DVDs, said Lt. C. Wendell Bowen III. Starks had moved to the house a few months earlier and had grown up a few blocks away on Wall Street, where his mother still lives.

"A neighbor was coming by to visit and saw the door open and saw him lying on the floor," Bowen said. Starks had a single gunshot wound, said the lieutenant, who did not release further details about the injury.

According to estimates by emergency medical workers, Starks appeared to have died about eight hours before the body was discovered around 9:30 a.m., Bowen said. Police received no reports of gunfire in the area, he said.

An autopsy is scheduled for today, but Stark's death was clearly a homicide, Berkeley County Coroner

Glenn Rhoad said. He declined to say more.

Police officers cordoned off the street leading to Starks' home and would not allow residents near the property. Nearby residents gathered along the road, watching as emergency vehicles filtered in and out.

Starks was working temporary jobs through Express Personnel in Charleston and had graduated from Miracle Academy Preparatory School in Russellville, according to his girlfriend, Lanormadee Polite. They had a 1-year-old son together whose name is DeMichael.

Starks previously let friends play with his PlayStation but stopped after the break-ins, his girlfriend said.

"He was a kindhearted person," said friend Lakesha Perry, who was waiting near the scene with her and a group of others. "He would help anybody he could."

Glenn Smith contributed to this report. Reach Susan Hill Smith at 937-5550 or at ssmith@postandcourier.com.